Yesterday felt like Christmas Eve. It was long and the kids were bouncing off the walls. At every opportunity Gwen was telling people that her dad was going to give her a blessing and that the Backpack Fairy was going to visit. The kids were so excited to start school.
We took Gavin on a little drive to show him where to pick up the bus and how it would take him to school. We showed him where he would get dropped off at school and where to catch the bus home. We drove home on the same route the bus would take. There is only so much we could prepare him for with taking the bus. I wanted him to understand as much as he could before we put him on that bus in the morning and left it all up to him.
I took Gwen and Parker to school this morning while Heath walked Gavin to the bus stop. Heath has been going on all day about how he felt putting Gavin on that bus. Gavin was the only person on the bus. The bus stop by our house is in the middle of the route. We don’t know if there will be more kids later, as if the parents drive their kids the first day or what.
Every time I have mentioned to friends that Gavin was going to take the bus, they gasped as if it was only a matter of time before I was hauled off to jail for neglect and child endangerment. I’m not kidding. The bus is not a popular choice for getting kids to school apparently. Which makes me even more adamant that Gavin have this experience. There are no school buses, as I have mentioned many times before. The city buses have school routes though. So it will cost us $60 a month for a bus pass but I think the education is worth it. The first few weeks of school are free.
I guess people are opposed to buses because they think the scum of the earth ride the bus. It’s a school route so it’s only other students! I don’t know what the problem is really. I just think that Gavin is so much better off learning a bit of independence. He won’t be like the other middle schoolers who rely on Mommy and Daddy to get them to and from school. Heaven forbid anyone walk around here! I would make my kids walk to school if we lived closer. Gavin laughs every time I talk about his peers relying on Mommy and Daddy. It is funny. At some point parents need to cut the apron strings already. I am raising adults and not children.
Reality has set in for Heath that Gavin is in middle school. Nobody could help him navigate this day. He is on his own. It doesn’t bother me as much because when I said goodbye to Gavin this morning I knew his dad was there to make sure he made it to the bus stop on time. Tomorrow will be another story. I will leave him home alone to lock the door and get himself off to the bus on his own. But I know he can do it. I told him last night that I was a latchkey kid. I was probably Parker’s age, or younger, when my mom hung a key around my neck and expected me to get myself home. By the time I was in high school I was taking the city bus to school since I had special permission to attend a school I was not in the boundaries for. I survived. Gavin will too.
What bothers me about Gavin growing up is that next year he will be 12, receive the priesthood and be ordained to the office of deacon. That is not okay with me! What happened to my little boy? I love how he looks like he’s leaning in these pictures. It doesn’t help that his backpack is really heavy. First day of school and already he’s hefting around a lot of weight! He has lunch, a binder, and his laptop. It all adds up. We told him to be nice to the bus driver because when you’re nice to people they are nice back. It is entirely possible that the bus driver will start dropping him off at our house if he/she/it gets to know him.
It’s Parker that I’m not okay with growing up. He is in the fourth grade now. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
I taught fourth grade. Parker is not allowed to be a fourth grader! Honestly, my biggest problem with the fourth grade is that was the year I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I struggled with that when Gavin was in fourth grade and now it’s here in my face again. Parker is the one kid I worry about the most developing Type 1 diabetes. He has already scared me a couple times into thinking something was going on. His blood sugar has been fine but what if he follows in my footsteps? I will freely admit I am superstitious. This is hard on me.
It also doesn’t seem right that Parker, my baby boy, is now in upper elementary. He is one of the big kids at school now. No more staggered reading schedule for him since he’s all grown up now … at the tender age of 9. I see his baby face smiling back at me. I miss my babies!
Then there’s Gwen. My first grader! It doesn’t bother me that she’s in first grade. I’m happy for her to be at this stage of life. I just don’t think I want her to get any older. She cannot go to second grade!
Watching these two go up the path together was hard. I could vividly remember pushing Gwen in a stroller up that path to drop off and pick up Gavin when he was in first grade. This part of the morning was hard on me the same way it was hard on Heath to put Gavin on that bus.
It is nice to have Heath home today but he’s had so many phone meetings that I still feel lost. I have had a kid home with me for the last 11 years. What am I supposed to do with all this time to myself? It’s going to be a very wet week. At least on my cheeks.
Gwen was very apprehensive this morning. She is so excited to be in the first grade and she is thrilled to have the same teacher her boys had in first grade. But she was nervous. We didn’t really recognize any friends in line until just before the bell rang. Maddie is in Gwen’s class. She is Dylan’s little sister. The two girls were toddlers when they first met when Dylan and Parker were in the same kindergarten class. They didn’t get along at all when they were 2 and 3 years old. Maddie seemed to have changed quite a bit last year when we saw her occasionally after kindergarten. Maybe they can be friends now. Two little Mormon girls in the same class.
Mrs. M was on yard duty this morning. She told Gwen that she wrote Gwenyth in two places – her name tag and her backpack hook. She said that it’s important that Gwen learn how to write her full name for legal reasons but she can go by any name she wants! It made me feel good to see Gwenyth spelled correctly! The kids signed their name on the board and found their desks.
I blew her a kiss and walked away. Mrs. M felt like the room was too crowded with all the parents standing around in there! That made the kids laugh and it was easier for them to say goodbye to their parents. I get to pick up Gwen in about half an hour. I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s first day.
The Backpack Fairy brought books for the kids. Gavin got The Book Thief. Parker got A Wrinkle in Time. And Gwen got two Junie B. Jones books. They were excited. Gwen said she wants to read The Book of Mormon before she turns 8. She feels like she is already running out of time because she will be 7 for her next birthday! I think after homework we will read a chapter or two together until we finish the book. I’m very excited about that since Gwen and I have not had our Book of Mormon bonding time yet.